Thousands of Rotary clubs around the world, including Co Clare, will hold events and fundraisers to recognise our progress in the global fight to end polio.
Ireland was hard hit by an epidemic in Cork in 1956 and in Belfast in 1957 both of which spread to other parts of Ireland. Polio Survivors Ireland has branches across the country including Clare. The Rotary Club of Ennis is a small part of the huge End Polio Now drive of Rotary International.
When Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative more than three decades ago, polio paralysed 1,000 children every day. We’ve made great progress against the disease since then. Polio cases have dropped by 99.9 percent, from 350,000 cases in 1988 in 125 countries to 33 cases of wild poliovirus in 2018 in just two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan. And we remain committed to the end.
With polio nearly eradicated, Rotary and its partners must sustain this progress and continue to reach every child with the polio vaccine. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralysing disease could return to polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk. Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million each year to support global polio eradication efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match that 2-to-1, for a total yearly contribution of $150 million.
In the Clare Group of Polio Survivors Ireland we endeavour to meet 3 or 4 times a year at various events organised to suit participants. Our most popular is the annual Christmas lunch the first Saturday in December which is looked forward to with enthusiasm by members.
Fortunately, few people qualify for membership in this Co. Clare group while nearly any adult can become a member of Rotary International and specifically the Ennis Rotary Club which is actively seeking new members to continue their many projects locally and internationally. If “Having fun while helping others” suits you, contact current President, Michael Shepherd, at firstname.lastname@example.org or see our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Clare-Rotary-367636557160350/
For information about supporting memberships in Polio Survivors Ireland contact them through their web site: https://polio.ie/